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General Description

Synonyms: benzylideneactaldehyde; cinnamic aldehyde; phenylacrolein; 3-phenylacrolein; 3-phenylpropenal; 3-phenyl-2-propenal

OSHA IMIS Code Number: C615

Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 104-55-2

Chemical Description and Physical Properties:

yellowish oil with a cinnamon odor and sweet taste. Thickens on exposure to air
molecular weight: 132.17
molecular formula: C9H8O
boiling point: 246°C
melting point: -7.5°C

Health Factors

Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, nose, throat; skin rash, itching; anaphylaxis (one case); INGES. ACUTE: Sore throat

Health Effects: Irritation-Eyes, Nose, Throat, Skin---Moderate (HE15); Allergic Contact Dermatitis (HE3)

Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system


  1. OSHA does not have a PEL for cinnamaldehyde.
  2. Cinnamaldehyde is listed by the FDA as a synthetic flavoring substance that is generally recognized as safe for its intended use (21 CFR 182.60). It also is an authorized denaturant for specially denatured alcohol (27 CFR 21.151).
  3. In vitro, human abdominal skin metabolizes cinnamaldehyde passing through it to cinnamyl alcohol (by alcohol dehydrogenase) and cinnamic acid (by aldehyde dehydrogenase) with approximately 90% efficiency within 24 hours.
  4. In rats, the biological half-life of cinnamaldehyde was reported to be 1.7 hours after intravenous administration, and its major urinary metabolite in both rats and mice is hippuric acid (benzoylglycine).
  5. Although carcinogenicity studies indicated positive effects of trans-cinnamaldehyde in some genotoxicity assays, no evidence of carcinogenicity was found in rats or mice consuming high microencapsulated doses in food for 2 years. Mice, but not rats, showed olfactory epithelial pigmentation.
  6. Six of 26 employees at a perfume factory had positive patch tests with cinnamaldehyde (1% in petrolatum), and 11 of 25 employees at a spice factory had positive patch tests with 2% cinnamaldehyde in petrolatum, at least four of which were assessed as allergic.

Literature Basis:

  • No authors: NTP toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of trans-cinnamaldehyde (CAS No. 14371-10-9) in F344/N rats and B6C3F1 mice (feed studies). Natl. Toxicol. Program Tech. Rep. Ser. (514): 1-281, 2004.
  • Adams, T.B., et al.: The FEMA GRAS assessment of cinnamyl derivatives used as flavor ingredients. Food Chem. Toxicol. 42(2): 157-185, 2004.
  • Bickers, D., et al.: A toxicologic and dermatologic assessment of cinnamyl alcohol, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamic acid when used as fragrance ingredients. Food Chem. Toxicol. 43(6): 799-836, 2005.
  • Cocchiara, J., Letizia, C.S., Lalko, J., Lapczynski, A. and Api, A.M.: Fragrance material review on cinnamaldehyde. Food Chem. Toxicol. 43(6): 867-923, 2005.
  • Diba, V.C. and Stratham, B.N.: Contact urticaria from cinnamal leading to anaphyslaxis. Contact Dermatitis 48(2): 119, 2003.
  • Hooth, M.J., et al.: Toxicology and carcinogenesis studies of microencapsulated trans-cinnamaldehyde in mice and rats. Food Chem. Toxicol. 42(11): 1757-1768, 2004.
  • Meding, B.: Skin symptoms among workers in a spice factory. Contact Dermatitis 29(4): 202-205, 1993.
  • Schubert, H.-J.: Skin diseases in workers at a perfume factory. Contact Dermatitis 55(2): 81-83, 2006.
  • Weibel, H. and Hansen, J.: Penetration of the fragrance compounds, cinnamaldehyde and cinnamyl alcohol, through human skin in vitro. Contact Dermatitis 20(3): 176-172, 1989.
  • Yuan, J.H., Dieter, M.P., Bucher, J.R. and Jameson, C.W.: Toxicokinetics of cinnamaldehyde in F344 rats. Food Chem. Toxicol. 30(12): 997-1004, 1992

Date Last Revised: 01/17/2007

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